New species of snake discovered with bite so strong it ‘leaves you disabled’

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A new species of snake has been discovered by scientists — and has a bite so strong it could leave you disabled.

The pit viper named Gloydius lateralis was discovered by a team of boffins in China, who had been collecting snakes from Jiuzhaigou national park for a wildlife survey.

The new snake forms part of the Crotalinae subfamily, meaning it is closely related to the rattlesnake and the copperhead.

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Now, researcher Dr Shengchao Shi has warned that the snake carries a potent venom that could unleash "lots of pain" on anyone unlucky enough to be bitten by it.

A member of the initial research team, he said: "The Gloydius lateralis is venomous. To our knowledge, all species of genus Gloydius are.

"I don't think its bite is mild. Bites by Gloydius are accompanied with lots of pain and may cause physical disability when not treated in time.

"Their venom contains blood poison and can cause swelling, but most of the time, they are not lethal."

He added that the "venom of this species" will require "further study".

In the meantime, scientists recommend in a new paper published in the journal ZooKeys that warning signs should be displayed in areas where the species may be present, with the national park where the snake was discovered receiving millions of visitors every year.

Both Gloydius and the protobothrops jerdonii species are found in grass or bushes on both sides of roads, according to Dr Shengchao Shi.

The freshly found species may be facing some new threats of its own soon, as the only known habitat of the new species, the Zharu Valley, has recently started being developed for tourism.

Other rare animals present at the Jiuzhaigou national park also include the giant panda and the golden snub-nosed monkey.

But it has not been known to have a thriving snake population, likely as a result of the harsh alpine environment.

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